KETR Local
8:00 am
Tue July 29, 2008

No reports of water parasite in Hunt County

Hunt County – We've been hearing a lot about the viral disease cryptosporidium recently found in Forth Worth area lakes. However, Hunt County consumers should not be concerned. County Health Administrator Joe Lilly says no such cases have been reported in the county.

Cryptosporidium is a parasite that can cause gastro-intestinal illness such as diarrhea. It is typically an acute short-term infection but can become severe and non-resolving in children.

Lilly says when it comes to public pools; the best form of prevention is keeping the levels of chlorine at their proper levels.

Lilly says any contagious disease is typically reported through the county health office and then on to the state region office. An investigation would then ensue, where samples are taken from the area reportedly infected, and possibly other area water facilities. Those samples are then sent to a lab to be tested.

According to Lilly, if an area is found to test positive for such a disease, the typical form of defense is super chlorination. There is also the option of draining the water, for instance, at a pool to clear out the disease.

In Forth Worth, area lakes and pools were shut down for one to two days while waters were super chlorinated. The problem has even more recently arisen in parts of Dallas.

Lilly says the biggest worry of such disease comes in the form of potable, or drinking water, rather than recreational areas. He says if the contamination were to occur in the public drinking water system it would be a more direct line to those consuming the water, therefore more widespread and serious. That would force a shutdown of the public water system until it is flushed and cleaned.